That 600-foot freighter, the Antalina, is in serious danger - she is without power, and the seas are ferocious.
Several of our bayous are backing up so badly that they are causeing local flooding without a drop of rain falling.
The storm surge is projected, in the upper reaches of Galveston Bay to be as much as 25 ft, and 17-20 around Galveston Island.
And it's being estimated that fully 40% of Galveston Islandsd population have not evcauted.
At least 6,000 people on the 30-mile-long by 3-mile wide strip of sand along the southeast Texas coastline were killed — one-sixth of the city's population. Another 10,000 were left homeless. More than 3,600 buildings were destroyed by a 16-foot storm surge fueled by 150 mph winds.
That concern prompted the local office of the National Weather Service to issue the rare warning that folks in some areas may "face certain death," if they don't evacuate.
The dire words are built in to the NWS software, but have only been used twice in recent memory, Hafele said — this week for Ike and in 2005 before Hurricane Katrina barreled ashore near New Orleans.
The rare warning issued Thursday and repeated Friday struck fear in coastal residents all over southeast Texas. But Hafele said the necessity of conveying the severity of the situation overshadowed the risk of stirring widespread panic, he said.
"What have they ever experienced," Hafele asked. "They hear about storm surge, but probably one percent of the people in the area have ever experienced anything like this."
An expected storm surge of more than 16 feet would put much of the island under water.